Illegal wildlife trafficking tends to evoke images of harshly lit ports and dingy warehouses, but in reality a lot of it takes place in front of a screen. For those dealing in the illicit trade of rhino horns or pangolin scales, the anonymity and global reach of the internet are obvious draws.
In what is being hailed a major victory for elephant conservation, China announced today that it will ban all commercial ivory trading by the end of 2017.
Illegal ivory comes from dead elephants. It comes from elephants that were killed recently, and if you try to argue otherwise, you’re wasting everyone’s time. Hidden ivory stockpiles are not the problem. Freshly slaughtered elephants are, and now, science can prove it.
Earlier today, Kenya set ablaze 105 tons of stockpiled ivory in a measure designed to discourage the poaching of elephants and rhinoceros in the country. The blaze is the biggest of its kind in history.
The online activism network Avaaz has made a name for itself exposing websites complicit in the illegal ivory trade. Last year, the group launched a highly publicized campaign to pressure Craigslist into banning ivory sales. Its latest target? Yahoo Japan.
Tracking the movement of ivory through the nebulous, international black market is extraordinarily difficult. But we need to start doing a better job of it if we want to stamp out the illegal trade that claims 100 elephant lives every day. One journalist’s solution? Build the world’s most convincing fake tusk, and…
Craiglist’s infamous “missed connections” section is a great place to write a love ballad to that special someone you made fleeting eye contact with at the grocery store. Or, you know, that African elephant that was slaughtered by poachers last week.
Jake Wall is a research scientist with Save the Elephants. As part of his work, he followed the travels of one particular male elephant called "Mountain Bull." But that research ended abruptly last month when Mountain Bull was slaughtered by poachers.
Last month, I wrote of an effort by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and others to urge the PBS series Antiques Roadshow to stop appraising ivory, given the devastating toll that poaching has on elephant populations. The WCS announced today that the show has agreed to their requests.
I'll say it: I love Antiques Roadshow. The look on the faces of folks who find out on national television that their priceless antiques are really worthless hunks of junk is, well, priceless. There's just one problem: by appraising ivory the PBS show communicates the idea that elephants are worth more dead than alive.
If you thought it was hard to get your hands on ivory from animals that still roam the earth, you can imagine the difficulty in sourcing the material from creatures that died thousands of years ago. And why these unique mammoth watches cost upwards of $44,000.
This slider cellphone has a shell of ivory, intricately carved with dragon designs. The ivory, harvested from Elephant, Mammoth(?) and camel teeth, taking three engravers over 3 months to make. Only six available, worldwide. The brightside: At over $20,000 dollars, the proceeds will go towards destroying baby seals…